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About This Report

Photo Credit: Project Ha Giang 2019

This report presents a collage of HKU initiatives that contribute towards the SDGs using Getting Started With The SDGs Guideline developed the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) as the guiding framework. Our initiatives were mapped against the SDGs under four subsections: research, engagement and outreach, teaching, learning and student activities, and operations. This report presents quantitative metrics as well as qualitative case studies.

Research metrics

The Sustainability Office collaborated with the Research Output Services (ROS) and the HKU Scholars Hub to map out SDG related research outputs based on a keyword search approach. In the previous reports, publication titles and abstracts were used to map against the SDG keyword list compiled by SDSN. However, two major issues were observed: 1) The broadness of some SDSN keywords had led to inaccurate results. 2) Researches with technical terms were not captured by the keyword list.

To address these issues, we modified the searching methodology this year by mapping the SDG keywords against the subject keywords provided by research authors, instead of the publication title and abstract. Also, additional keywords were being added to the keyword set developed by SDSN. The intention of the changes was to improve the ability to avoid unnecessary searches and to capture technical keywords that are discipline-specific, this may include specific terms that describe the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as specific topics under a certain discipline.

Course metrics

We were not able to reach out to all course lecturers to identify the respective SDGs as there were more than 4,300 courses in 2019/20. Therefore, we developed the SDG-related course inventory based on SDG keywords highlighted in the course title and description field. The results were being verified and fine-tuned to improve accuracy. In the future, we will seek a more comprehensive approach to refine our methodology, such as collaborating with faculties and offices in metric development and modifying keyword sets.

Operation metrics

Operation metrics of this report were provided by the Estates Office, which calculates our carbon, energy, water, waste, and recycling footprint at the building level.


Case studies

The case studies were collected based on desktop reviews, staff surveys, and interviews with selected stakeholders, and were chosen based on their relevance towards respective SDGs. The case studies include community outreach, engagement projects, and partnerships related to the SDG.

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